Leaving Sinai

Post-Revelation, week 2. This commentary looks at the exchange between Moses and his father-in-law about the latter’s desire to go his own way, back home and not follow the Yisreal-ites on their journey away from Sinai (Numbers 10:29-32). The brief exchange is left open-ended, allowing for much commentary. Also allowing for us to pause and consider how we decide when to travel together and when to part company.

NOTE: Verse 10:29 speaks of “Hobab son of Reuel, the Midianite, choten of Moses.” Onkelos says that “choten” could mean father-in-law (as usually translated) or brother-in-law or some other relative; citation is also to Ex 4:25 when Zipporah calls Moses “choten of blood to me.” Zipporah’s father was called Reuel in Ex 2:16 when we first meet the family (also 2:18, 2:21). He is called Jethro in chapter 18, when he is identified several times as Zipporah’s father, priest of Midian, and choten-Moshe. He is also called Jether, Putiel, Heber, and Keni at other points in the Bible.

The Torah portion Beha’alotekha (Numbers 8:1-12:16) is full of interesting things to check out. One NOT mentioned in the audio is the “inverted nuns” and the text between them.

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